That’s alive, that’s alive,
that’s alive, the neighbor calls

to his son, following the creek bed.
Why am I stuck on wanting a word

halfway between mother and neighbor,
a stepping stone slick with moss,

the kind of stone that falls
from my neighbor’s wall all spring long.

See how there’s no set word
for the neighbor’s mothering

the mother neighboring


start from startle: childish leap
stop from stopper: palm against the opening